Off The Rock: Rental Kiosks & Tracking Points

August 1, 2017

[Travel column written by Don Burgess]

Hertz’s ExpressRent Kiosk

On a recent trip to the Baltimore area, I flew into Reagan National Airport and used Hertz’s ExpressRent kiosk to get my car. Hertz has used these machines to replace people at various airports around the globe since 2011, but it is the first time I used one.

You use a handset receiver to talk with a person in who-knows-what-city to deal with your car rental. I had to hold my drivers license up to the video monitor so the person could see it and swipe my credit card through a card reader to process the transaction.

I felt like it was a bit clunky and impersonal.

My brother was at Reagan a month later and had a worse experience than I did. The person on the other side of the video screen asked if he wanted an upgrade and he said yes only to find out at the end of the transaction they charged him more for it. He made them cancel the upgrade which then took longer to get to his car and on with his holiday.

I’ve read elsewhere that other customers have thought this would be a free upgrade when it wasn’t, so if you are using one of these video kiosks for your rental car take note of this upcharge selling technique.

Diet Coke

A story has been making the rounds saying flight attendants “hate” when passengers ask for it as it takes longer to pour because of its fizziness at altitude.

The articles quote from a 2013 blog post on These Gold Wings, but if you go to the source, it is based on a 2013 article. The author had to put a disclaimer on his site stating: “Here is my official stance on passengers ordering Diet Coke, not that anyone should actually care: I don’t care what you want to drink. I’ll pour it, and I won’t have a second thought about it.”

So go ahead and order it if that is your favorite beverage, your flight attendant won’t suck their teeth at you.

Tracking your points

I am a big fan of tracking your points to get free hotel stays, plane tickets, and other perks. There are several good sites to use to track loyalty programmes. I use, but is great too. Others include and

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Comments (1)

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  1. Hurricane says:

    Personally, I’d never assume any upgrade is free if it wasn’t stated.